Saturday, October 28, 2006

Free Giveaway

Does anybody want most of a package of size 5 Pampers diapers, most of a package of princess-themed Huggies pull-ups (the kind that get cold when the kid pees in them) , and three pairs of 4T Thomas the Tank Engine underwear?

When we went to pick out underwear Sweet Pea chose Hello Kitty (that was a given) and Thomas. I didn't explain to her that the Thomas ones were for boys because I thought she should be able to have Thomas undies too, if she wanted them. But when we took them out of the package and washed them when we got home, she looked and looked at that funny "pocket" in the front... she never asked me about it, but once she saw that she didn't want to wear them.

Why don't they make Thomas undies for girls? And why do the boys undies have those stupid little "pockets," anyway? Do toddler boys already pee standing up? Really?

She sure is happy with her Hello Kitty big girl panties, though! She had a little bit of an accident this morning - didn't quite get her panties off and her bum onto the potty in time - but way most of it got into the potty because she realized in time to get to the bathroom and get her hands on the toilet lid before anything slipped out. This following TWO ENTIRE WEEKS with zero accidents. YEAH!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Remember When...

Hey, remember when I used to post stuff on my blog? Yeah, that was fun.

Things are getting away from me again and I have been trying to figure out what to do about it. This morning in the shower I thought, "why don't I blog about THAT?" My struggle to get my family's lives in order, to figure out how to balance it all, to find ways and time to take care of myself as well as the girls, etc.?"

I have been adding activities into my routine to try to make myself happier and Sweet Pea, Slipshod and I healthier (The Bug is only excepted because she doesn't eat solid food, although the benefits of me eating better will certainly be passed on to her). Could be incredibly boring, could be okay to read. Depends on how much time I have to think about and actually sit and write these things. For example; right now both girls are supposed to be napping but The Bug has just begun to protest from her co-sleeper, so I have an ear out for that and am having difficulty writing coherent sentences because my mind is halfway up the stairs to get her.

Yeah. Anyway, just wanted to say, I have an idea and hope to start blogging more regularly as part of my path back to sanity. ha ha!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

It All Balances Out

No worries, Christina and others pondering how life will be with a second child. Really, it does all balance out. I tend to blog about my worst days. ha ha!

The day after my last post, I was able to get a shower as soon as I got up while the baby slept, and the girls and I got out to the grocery store and did an hour+ long shopping trip (we hadn't been for a long time and had a lot of shopping to do!). In the afternoon, Sweet Pea and I made pumpkin rolls.

Yesterday some friends called in the morning and told me they both had the day off and asked if I would like them to come over and help me with anything. You bet I jumped on that! They brought lunch too, which totally rocked. Then they helped me fix a shelf paper oops I had made in the kitchen that had slowed my unpacking (I put that no-skid shelf paper in a cabinet rather than the drawers, and was having a difficult time getting my pans out of the cabinet because they wouldn't slide, while my spices, silverware, etc. were sliding all over the place in the drawers). After that we just sat around and chatted for a couple hours, and it was heavenly to have the company.

Happily, Slipshod is also making a very concerted effort to come home for dinner. He balances coming home earlier by doing work from home while I'm getting the kids to bed, but it is SO great just to have him in the house, even if he can't do family stuff part of the time.

Yesterday The Bug did not nap AT ALL. I kept telling her that she really needs to nap three times a day, she's a 4-month-old baby, fer cryin' out loud. But she responded by grabbing my hand or whatever else happened to be close enough and chewing on it like there was no tomorrow. I hope those two bottom teeth pop through the gums soon, and she starts getting more rest until the next batch.

Today, thankfully, both kids are napping simultaneously. I want to go do some shelf papering and unpacking upstairs, but had to pop a post on here to say that it's really not all bad. Difficult, yes, but over all the good outweighs the bad - and I haven't fallen down the stairs since Monday... ha ha!

Sweet Pea has not had any can't-get-to-the-potty-in-time accidents for four days, going on five, and we had two longish outings during those days. She's a pro! :o) I'm unbelievably psyched that we're suddenly in the land of little girl panties and NO MORE DIAPERS FOR THE TODDLER! WaHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Some Whine With Your Cheese?

I'm sorry if I use my blog to gripe a lot. But this is how my day went today:

Awaken after actually getting a good amount of sleep for me (6-7 hours in a row!).

Slipshod gets up, showers, etc., goes to work.

Baby's awake - bring her in bed to nurse.

Baby falls asleep.

Toddler wakes up. (I swear they plan this the night before.)

Get up with toddler, prepare to shower while baby sleeps. Feeling good at this point, like maybe we can get out to the grocery store, which we desperately need to visit, before toddler's nap, because she slept well and long and won't need a nap until 2pm.

Baby wakes up by the time we're done with morning potty, so I decide to put shower off until after breakfast.

Start load of laundry before going to kitchen.

Take both girls downstairs and make and eat breakfast.

Nurse baby again.

Baby falls asleep.

Before can take baby upstairs to crib, toddler needs to use potty again, and although she is fully capable of doing everything but wiping by herself, she HAS to have me present for the whole production.

As a result of the constant toddler chatter, baby wakes up.

Play with kids.

Eat snack with toddler who asks for a sandwich.

Nurse baby. Baby falls asleep. Take baby to crib. Get her in crib. Toddler and cat come upstairs and talk/meow loudly and wake baby up.

Take everyone back downstairs.


Take kids upstairs for nap.

Both kids FINALLY fall asleep. This is at 3pm.

Send a couple e-mails, talk with hubby on phone, take a shower WAY later than usual (which means that I haven't been a pleasant person to be around for the past couple hours because I get super cranky if my shower gets put off 'til the afternoon).

Baby wakes up.

Toddler wakes up.

Try to feed toddler and self lunch while nursing baby - toddler runs amok instead. Sit and feed self and baby, anyway.

Try to get toddler to eat and get dressed so we can go grocery shopping. Mind you, it's about 5pm by now.

Toddler takes hours to eat an apple and a couple other things, puts her underwear on backwards about six times in a row, pretends not to know how to put on a sock, refuses dress I picked out for her. All very cheerfully, mind you, assuring me that we still have plenty of time to get to the store before bedtime.

Meanwhile, outside, the sun goes down.

Give up on grocery shopping for today.

Call hubby, ask if he's coming home soon, ask him to bring dinner.

While on phone with hubby, put baby in crib and carry heavy bag of soiled diapers downstairs to put out front for the diaper service to pick up. On the way down the stairs, FALL DOWN THE STAIRS on back.

Start another load of laundry, take baby back downstairs, put her in baby gym, give up, and turn on a movie, leaving kids in the living room, and go whine on blog.

My back and head and legs feel all weird and I just want to cry. Ugh. But that's what the baby's doing now, so off I go...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Woo woo! I'll Take It!

I was informed yesterday evening while talking with a friend who has slightly older children that Sweet Pea's current potty status qualifies as "trained." She is completely out of diapers, uses the potty almost every time she needs to go, and barely has any accidents. We were making her sleep in a pull-up "just in case," since we all sleep in the same bed, but last night Slipshod forgot to put one on her (yes, he was home by dinnertime! Whoop!) and I told him not to worry about it. It has been over a year since Sweet Pea wet a diaper at night. So she slept in her undies and went pee pee on the potty first thing this morning, and all is well. We were doing charts with star stickers and giving her kitty stickers (that's what she wanted) when she reached our specified numbers of stars, but now she's racking up the stars so quickly and easily that we're finishing this last one and then we'll start going to rewards for multiple days without accidents (so far she has had several days with no accidents, but they have not been consecutive).

Wahoo! It's been a long time coming but apparently now is the time -she's ready, and that's that. She was the same way with walking - she didn't walk until 15 months. It seemed almost as if she wanted to make sure she could really do it right before she went for it. Which worries me in terms of a perfectionist tendency, but otherwise I think it's pretty cool. And I may very well be making up the perfectionist thing. She doesn't act that way with everyday activities.

Anyway - we're into big girl panties now! Yay!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I Need Some Answers, People.

Why are both of my children refusing to nap today? Why was I unable to do anything but laugh when they kept each other awake at naptime? Was it because Sweet Pea is so great with her little sister, nibbling on her fingers and giving her kisses, and The Bug laughing and squealing and reaching for her sister in return?

Why are we still live TV-less after living here for 3 weeks?

Will I go crazy if I actually finish watching Van Helsing? (I'm down to the last few things I haven't watched on the Tivo - that was one thing that the Tivo recorded for us without us asking...)

How many times can a person watch Finding Nemo before one has a nervous breakdown?

Where the hell is my husband every night at dinnertime, bathtime, and bedtime?

Can I hire a look-alike to play Daddy in the evenings? Or make a clone?

When will I be able to use my car again? It's currently back seat-less (therefore rendering it child seatless) and full of crap.

Can I have some ice cream?

**Note: I did not realize that the last post had worked - Blogger had given me reason to think I'd lost it and I thought that was just fine, but since it actually went through I'll leave it. But sorry for the repetition.

Also, while I was writing my list of questions, The Bug, on her play mat in the other room, rolled over for the first time (there was that time a couple weekends ago but it happened as I was setting her in her crib so I think I may have rolled her)...


It's good that I didn't blog last night. I was in a very dark place and would have really let Slipshod have it - outed his never-home tendencies in more specific detail than usual, and worded more strongly how I feel about it. I really do hate raising two children nearly alone. The kids are great, but I would LOVE some help in raising them. That's how it's supposed to work, right?

The situation is not that simple, though. In many ways I can't gripe because Slipshod brings in all the money we have, and often does the grocery shopping if I can't make it out to the store (which I haven't been able to do this week because the back seat in my van, the one with the kids' seats on it, is out of the van, and the whole back of the vehicle is full of stuff that he picked up last weekend from storage). He deals with wacko landladies and lawyers and making sure that the people renting our old house are happy. He goes down there to water the plants and get the mail (forwarding order not 100% yet, and he still needs to run the drip lines for the flowers in the front flower bed).

I guess what bugs me is that on the nights that he's not doing that stuff, he works until 9pm. I take care of these girls from waking to bedtime alone, almost every single day. The girls don't get to see him. Sweet Pea is so used to not seeing him that she says she doesn't like him when he is around. And for me, that means that even when he is here, things generally happen as if he weren't. Mind you, we do come up with fun things he can do with her to get her out of my hair, and she's up for that - walks around the neighborhood, trips to Starbuck's - and sometimes if he's home by bedtime he gets her teeth brushed and talks with her a bit before bed.

I don't think I'm making any sense here, but I've just been having a more-than-usual difficult time raising these girls on my own. Does anyone know of a husband-rental service? I'm looking for someone who looks and sounds exactly like Slipshod, but I need him to be here by dinnertime and help with bedtime preparations. If he washed dishes that would be a bonus.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Why Do I Care So Much What Other People Think?

I really hate it that I take in so deeply what people say sometimes. Especially family. You know how it is. Well, maybe you don't. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only freak who can't just tell people to DEAL with me and my choices. Or at least just get myself not take their comments so personally.

Lately due to conversations with various folks, and on some issues from conversations over time, I feel like lots of people disapprove of my mothering ways, all the way from prenatal care and birth choices to potty training and discipline. Of course that's true - no two people do these things exactly alike, and everyone has their own opinion. But what I don't get is why it's so very important for people, especially people in older generations (yes, I'm griping about my own mother), to point out very finger-shakingly exactly where Sweet Pea has issues and tell me what I should do about it.

Besides the fact that I KNOW where we have issues, all kids are different, parents make different parenting choices from the way they were raised, and, perhaps most importantly, Sweet Pea is THREE YEARS old. So you're freakin' nuts if you think she is going to have perfect table manners. And I don't necessarily believe that my siblings and I were all potty trained by 18 months, but even if we were, it wasn't because we were ready. I have a much more laid-back approach to these things than the way they were done back in the day, and y'know what? THAT'S OKAY.

I'm kvetching about this because I'm frustrated to notice that after my mom calls and gives me pointers ("She really should be using the potty by now;" "She needs to eat at the table for every meal," etc.), which, by the way, I didn't ask for, I find that I am much harder on Sweet Pea. I get very short with her and feel as if I'm a failure as a mother because MY mother isn't happy with her progress.

When in fact, Sweet Pea is a good girl. She has a thing lately about dragging everything out forever, but she can be pushed and steered when need be with a minimum of crying, and over all she minds decently, and she is a happy, nice (except for the bug-squishing tendency) girl who loves her mommy and "her" baby (poor Daddy - but I really believe that if he were around more she would tell him that she loves him too).

At least Slipshod's mom is nice about this stuff. She points out Sweet Pea's goodness and accomplishments and says that we should be proud of our little muchkin.

But my point was, WHY do I even let this crap bother me so much? I hate that I take it in so easily and doubt myself so easily, when if I really sit down and think about it I know that the choices I've made for my daughter and how to raise her are right for us. There are definitely areas where I'm flailing, but isn't that true of every parent? I never give myself enough credit. Every so often I have to remind myself that besides what I already said about knowing that my choices are right for us, nobody else lives with us - nobody else actually knows the way we interact daily. So basically, when they're offering very specific advice, they're talking out their asses. I've gotta remember that. Maybe I'd be able to laugh it off more easily and not let it sink in if I use that "imagine them in their underwear" trick - only in this case, if I imagine butts with eyes. Okay, that's gross. But it sure would make me think about taking unsolicited advice so deeply to heart!

Oh, and for the record, if you're one of those folks who thinks that because I believe in homebirth I think everyone else should, you're wrong. I do think it is unfortunate that a very large portion of American society is completely oblivious to the option of homebirth. I also believe that a mother must choose the birthing place option that makes her feel the safest and most comfortable. If that's in a hospital, so be it. Birth center? Right on. If you don't feel like you're safe, you're probably not going to have the experience you're hoping for.

Update From the Bathroom

Today Sweet Pea informed me that she does not want to pee pee and poo poo in her diaper anymore, but she wanted to wear one this morning just to have something on her bum. She did pee in two diapers this morning, but since then she has had two successes on the potty, which are more exciting than usual to me because she went by herself twice when I couldn't help her. Once while I was in the shower, and once at naptime while I was nursing the baby. And both times she got ALL of the pee in the potty, which she has trouble doing sometimes... This afternoon we're going shopping for big girl underpants! Wahoo!


Okay, last night's title was a bit overdramatic; today I would say something more like "Coming Up for Air," or "Surfacing."

I am amazed at how much better I am doing after three things changed over the past few days:

1.) I stopped eating so much sugar - I could watch it destroy my mood and sink me into a depression each day when I was eating way too much

2.) I finally refilled my prescription for prenatal multivitamins after not having any for the past month. No, I am not trying to get pregnant, I am nursing. That's why I'm still taking those. And wow do they make a difference.

3.) I have internet access again! I knew that was important to me but I thought of it as a frivolous thing until I saw how depressed I got when I couldn't keep in touch with family or friends very easily for two months. I am really amazed at how much better I feel after having internet access back for just one day. Who knew that e-mail and blogging were actually keeping me sane? I truly feel almost back to normal now just because I can reach out so easily again.

On another subject - HUGE potty breakthrough tonight! It finally occurred to me the other day that Sweet Pea has liked to be alone while pooping for some time. So I started to mention to her that if she wanted to poop on the potty she could do that while I was in a separate room if she wanted. I have the powder room downstairs set up with her kid-sized potty ring on the toilet seat and her little plastic potty chair, which has a lid, set in front of the toilet so she can use it as a step stool to get up there by herself. Until today she moved her little potty away and insisted that I lift her up onto the potty seat.

Well, tonight I had to take The Bug upstairs to change one of her poopy diapers and I figured that Sweet Pea would tag along like usual and whine about wanting me to carry her upstairs too, and want to "help" me change The Bug's diapers, etc. But just to be thorough I showed her the powder room, turned on the light in there, told her that the potty was set up for her, etc.
She didn't come upstairs with me, or whine, or any of the usual stuff. I was just starting to wonder what had become of her when she came up the stairs and ran to me in her room, me standing at the changing table, and said, "I go'ed poopie in the potty! All by myself!" I told her I was so excited and asked her if she would show me when we got back down stairs. I wondered if it was a whole poop, if you will, or if she had just gone pee pee and a little poop had slipped out. But no, it was for real, and I am still really excited. Hey, this is my life, whaddaya gonna do? I get excited about these things. REALLY excited. This is the first time she has gone on the "big potty," AND she did it alone (for those of you who worry about these things, I did wipe her bottom as soon as she told me she had pooped on the potty, and we washed her hands as soon as we got back downstairs and she flushed the toilet).

I feel as if we may have turned a corner tonight. I really hope so. I was just feeling really discouraged about the potty thing at dinnertime, and then this happened - hopefully we move on to full potty functioning from here. I know she can do it if she would just decide that it's time. So hopefully that's what she is working toward or maybe has already decided.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Clawing My Way out of Hell

I'M BACK! FINALLY! It was awful in hell. I'm so glad to be here again.

So we moved in August, as you read, but the first place turned out to be a pit with a clueless slumlord, so we had to move again. The new place is beautiful and in a great neighborhood and here we have very nice and responsible landlords. This place is actually what we were looking for the first time around, but it wasn't available then - I guess things work out for a reason, though we really went through awful crap to get here. Bleh.

The events of the past two months sank me into quite a depression and I am unable to ascertain if said depression is solely caused by that or if it may also be post-partum. The hormones definitely factor in as nursing demand increases, I think. However, over the past two days I have begun to feel as if I am pulling out of the dark place I was in, so hopefully I will continue my journey out of the hole and be a useful person, mother, wife, etc. again soon.

This move was supposed to help us see more of Slipshod but has had the exact opposite effect. Most of that is because of the other things we had to wrap up, though, with which I was unable to help. Once we moved the first time, Slipshod had to finish getting us moved out of our old house and get it ready for our renters to move in. When we had to move the second time, he had to finish things at that house as well, and deal with the movers and make sure we got EVERYTHING out. He also dealt with the correspondence (legal) between us and our first landlady, and on top of all of those things work has been a waking nightmare for him for the past month (though when you work in customer support, I think that's always the way it is...). Anyway, my point is that I have been parenting almost entirely alone for two months and I don't know how single mothers do it. It's awful.

So a large part of my depression has been due to feeling incredibly isolated. We barely moved half an hour away from where we were, but I might as well have been on the other side of the country! I've gotten in lots of trouble with Slipshod for racking up the minutes on my cell phone but I couldn't call out on the house phone either because it only had basic service - we were waiting for internet... blah blah blah. And besides the phone issues, my computer was only hooked up part of the time at the first house and not until recently here and that's where my address book lives, so I didn't have all the numbers I needed.

Anyway - worry not, dear friends, though the past two months were fraught with nastiness which I may or may not elaborate on tomorrow (not sure if I should really get into details until all the legal stuff is settled), we have ended up in a very nice place and are settling in quite happily.

Sweet Pea is really into the "why, why, why" thing now which along with her 3-year-old need to test my limits EVERY WAKING MOMENT and refusal to potty train are driving me INSANE. But I love her anyway. Actually, she decided during the height of chaos at the last house (the first place we moved, I mean) that she needed to start using the big potty. I was thrilled to help but moving again seemed to have turned off the interest. So now we're forcing the issue, because she clearly knows what she's doing and just needs to be pushed. If she is wearing anything on her nethers, she will pee and poop in that. So while we are home, I make her go naked. We have had two pee-pee accidents, but honestly I'm not sure they were accidents at all. This is all rather frustrating and I am concerned about her holding the poop - she doesn't want to put that in the potty. Yes, we've been through this before, the last time she was interested in potty training. And she got over it that time. But not yet this time. Whatever...

The Bug is growing like a weed and is as cute as ever. She started laughing about 6 weeks ago and is now grabbing everything that comes within reach - and putting it in her mouth if possible (can't actually keep her grasp on anything for long, so stuff doesn't always make it to the mouth). She seems to have been teething for a month or so already. I can't feel anything coming up in her gums, but Sweet Pea started teething at 4 months and popped her first two teeth at 5 months. I have a feeling we'll be seeing chompers soon. She is very competent at holding her head up while on her tummy and all that jazz, and rolled over from her tummy to her back last weekend. Hasn't done it again since, but often when she wants to see somebody who she can hear while lying down, or if she's trying to grab something that's out of her reach, she will nearly roll over (like tonight in the bath tub - YIKES).

I must get to bed, but had to pop a little note on here in case anybody was looking - though you're probably all on my e-mail list and have already had a bit of an update anyway. ha ha!